Highlights from the EU Neighbourhood projects

Despite the uncertain times in the EU Neighbourhood, May was a busy month for our work in the region. Due to the Russian invasion in February 2022, we had to put on hold our project in Ukraine about the integration of migrants. We stand ready to continue Ukrainian institutions and hope to resume cooperation soon by adapting our Action to any new needs from the partner.

Additionally, we are currently collaborating with partners in Moldova on two different projects: one on diaspora engagement and the other one on Integrated Border Management (IBM). We also launched a new project in Georgia on consular crisis management.

Looking forward, we are also expecting to kick off soon three other projects. Two of which will focus on the integration of migrants but in different contexts and countries, one with the local municipality of Irbid in Jordan and the other one with the State Migration Service of Azerbaijan. We also have another project coming up in Azerbaijan, this one building from our experience in supporting partners to counter trafficking in human beings.

Ongoing Actions in Moldova and Georgia

Moldova is of particular interest at regional level and for the management of EU external borders. This has led, amongst other reasons, Moldovan national authorities to request our support to work on 2 main topics and projects: 1) integrated border management (IBM) and 2) diaspora affairs. The first one kicked off earlier this year and, in June, experts from Austria, Romania and Latvia will meet with partners to present the capacities and training needs assessment report. This will be followed by the development of the Practical Handbook for the monitoring and evaluation of the IBM principles implementation by all relevant stakeholders in the country such as the border police officials and custom services.

The second project with Moldova started in May and will focus on evaluating the impact and success of their National Strategy Diaspora 2025 so far. For this, the first expert is a member of the Moldovan diaspora in the Netherlands, and the second one works for the UK Embassy in Chișinău. Next steps of the project: development of an evaluation methodology to prepare the consultations with officials and diaspora members in Moldova and all-over Europe.

On the topic of consular crisis management, we just launched our collaboration with Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assess their existing policies on consular crisis management and training capacities for protection nationals abroad in response to the COVID-19 crisis. This activity will be followed in September by an in-depth knowledge exchange session with EU Member States to discuss the key findings of the initial assessment and to share good practices and lessons learned from everybody’s response to the pandemic.

Projects in the pipeline

In addition to the ongoing projects detailed above, we hope to kick off soon two upcoming projects in Azerbaijan. One will focus on the sharing of good practices on anti-trafficking management, whilst the other will centre on integration of migrants to support the development of the National Integration Strategy.

On the topic of integration in the region, we also received a request from a municipality in Jordan, the city of Irbid, which requested technical assistance related to good practices from past and ongoing MIEUX Actions on integration of migrants at local level.

All of the projects in the pipeline are pending approval from the Project Steering Committee. Nevertheless, we already invite all experts in the areas of integration and trafficking in human beings who would be interested in working with us on these projects to register to the Expert Roster and follow us on our community on LinkedIn to learn more about the opportunities of work.